Restoration work is beginning at the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria now that the required archaeological, engineering and scientific studies have been completed, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, director general of the Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project, told Ahram Online.
Abdel Aziz said that Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction, assigned to the task by the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, are now on site to install all the required equipment in order to prepare the site for restoration.
He said that the restoration work is being executed under the supervision of the antiquities ministry and will take eight months.
The budget of EGP100 million is being provided by the Egyptian government.
According to Abdel Aziz, the government has allocated EGP 1.27 billion to complete eight restoration projects: the Jewish synagogue and the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria; the Development of the Giza Plateau; the restoration of King Farouk’s resthouse in the plateau; the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat; Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis; Mohamed Ali Pasha Palace in Shoura; and Alexan Palace in Assiut.
“The antiquities ministry is keen to restore all Egypt's archaeological sites, including Jewish, Coptic and Islamic sites, which represent the country's heritage,” Abdel Aziz said.
Waadalah Abul-Ela, the head of the Projects Department at the ministry, said that the restoration work at the synagogue aims to restore the synagogue's architecture and fine decorative elements, as well as the lighting and security systems.
The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is located in Nabi Daniel Street in downtown Alexandria and is the oldest synagogue in the city.
It was originally built in 1354 but was subjected to destruction by the Napoleon expedition to Egypt in 1798, in order to build a defensive wall from the Kom El-Dikka area to the Mediterranean.
In 1850, the synagogue was reconstructed with contributions from the royal family.